Greasy pizza boxes, broken wine glasses, old TVs or computer, what can and can't be recycled

Greasy pizza boxes, broken wine glasses, your old TV or computer - you may be surprised by what you can actually recycle this summer and what you absolutely should not.

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With the amount of rubbish spiking during the holiday season, here’s what you should know to reduce the waste. Source: 1 NEWS

The amount of waste Kiwis produce spikes during the holiday season and when it comes to where we're throwing it all, many of us are getting it very wrong.

"The latest we had was a samurai sword in the recycling bin and prosthetic limbs." said Parul Sood, General Manager of Solid Waste at Auckland Council.

Auckland's waste increases by around 9 percent over the holiday period but when it comes to recycling, some of us are just being lazy.

"If you're putting nappies and food waste in your bin, clearly that's not meant to be there." Ms Sood said.

Much of what ends up in our bins is "wishcycling", which is throwing unsuitable material into recycling bins and hoping it'll avoid the landfill.

"Where you've put an X Box console in thinking someone might use it, but it can create a fire - and that entire truckload, if it's got fire, has to be dumped in a landfill."

The message from Auckland Council is clear - your recycling bin is for clean household packaging only.

Bottles that can be recyclable should be rinsed.

In Auckland, the lid should be left on, but some councils prefer the lid off.

If you can, it's best to take the label off the item you are recycling, but processing plants can remove the labels too.

Pizza boxes can be recycled, even if there is grease present.

"You just need to check there's no food, no cheese, grease is fine."

Household items like broken wine glasses and plastics that aren't part of food packaging, can't go in your home recycling bin. But some of these items can be recycled elsewhere.

Go Recycle in west Auckland, will even pay you for it. It's owner, Toni Moros will take toasters, microwaves, fridges and freezers.

"Metal in particular, pots and pans, car batteries that contain lead. We pay for that sort of stuff." Ms Moros says. 

You can even get rid of your old computers and cellphones for free.

"All the time we get people coming in asking what we can recycle and there's a lot of people surprised by what we do take." she says. 

So there are other options to avoid nasty surprises for those emptying your bins.